February 28, 2013
Trent Lott trained in the ways of Washington on your dime. Now he uses that knowledge as a paid lobbyist for dirty energy companies.
Trent Lott trained in the ways of Washington on your dime. Now he uses that knowledge as a paid lobbyist for dirty energy companies. while also posing as a wise statesman.

Who Built Senator-Turned-Dirty Energy Lobbyist Trent Lott? You Did

Far too often in Washington, policy decisions are influenced by big money — wealthy corporations spend millions on lobbying, public relations, and campaign contributions to get their way. Big money helps explain why your cell phone and cable TV bills are so expensive, why small investors are still unprotected from Wall Street abuses, why taxpayers subsidize incomprehensible waste, like the $33 billion a year we spend on for-profit colleges that often ruin students’ lives.

But one of the worst affronts to our democracy, and one of the worst dangers to our world, is the way that dirty energy companies — …

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November 27, 2012

VIDEO: Rep. Shuler Said He Wouldn’t Become A Lobbyist; Now He Will

In July, then-Republic Report bloggers Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani taped an interview with Congressman Heath Shuler, Democrat of North Carolina. Shuler had announced he would retire from Congress at the end of the current session. Concerned about the revolving door culture and its corruption of our politics, our reporters asked Shuler whether he was planning to become a lobbyist after retiring. Shuler flatly told them no.

Yesterday, Duke Energy announced that it “has named Heath Shuler as senior vice president of federal affairs, effective Jan. 4, 2013…. Shuler will be based in Duke Energy’s Washington, D.C. office.” In other …

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July 14, 2012
Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-CA)

Scandal-Plagued Congressman Jerry Lewis To Give Lecture On “Ethical Lobbying” — To Audience Of Lobbyists

Congressman Jerry Lewis (R-CA) has faced years upon years of scandal: FBI investigations over corrupt land deals, ties to the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal, pay-to-play earmarks, and even a small controversy over his attempt to solicit lobbyists to finance his official portrait.

Later this month, American League of Lobbyists is hosting an event on “Effecitve and Ethical Lobbying.” The lecture is led by none other than Jerry Lewis and his colleague Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA).

The invitation makes no mention of Lewis’ scandal-plagued history. The website touts him as a top appropriator who has been “active …

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June 27, 2012

D.C. Newspaper Writes Fawning Profile Of Kennedy-Aide-Turned-Lobbyist

One of the best ways for special interests to influence our lawmakers is to hire former government staffers to get the insider access needed to win legislation and regulation. By passing through the “revolving door,” these staffers are generously rewarded for winning over government favors for private clients, often clients who seek to distort public policy to favor wealthy interests.

This revolving door should be a scandal. But in Washington, it’s simply become normal. The local press there even glamorizes it.

Take this profile of Holly Fechner, the former policy director to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), in The Hill, …

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June 21, 2012

How The Revolving Door May Help Kill Competition In The Music Industry

Last year, the more than century-old music company EMI Group announced it would split up in two, with the two parts sold to Universal Music Group and Sony Corporation in a multi-billion dollar deal.

A number of consumer groups, lead by the Consumer Federation of America and Public Knowledge, have criticized the Universal-EMI Group merger in particular, saying that it would help kill competition in the industry. The two aforementioned groups filed “detailed comments with the Federal Trade Commission objecting” to the deal last week.

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to discuss the merger.

The companies involved are spending …

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March 28, 2012

Retiring Congressman Barney Frank Will Not Agree To Disclose Negotiations For Future Jobs

Selling out pays. We looked at just a dozen Members of Congress who became lobbyists and other advocates for special interests after they left office and found that they received an average of a 1,452 percent raise. So we here at Republic Report sent a letter to all 36 retiring Members of Congress asking them to commit to disclosing any job negotiations they have with anyone during the rest of their time in office. That way, we at least know who they’re potentially selling out to, and we can watch out for signs that, while still in office, they …

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March 26, 2012

Retiring Senator Ben Nelson Refuses To Disclose Any Job Negotiations With Lobbyists

Selling out pays. Members of Congress who retire to become lobbyists get huge paydays. We looked at just a dozen federal lawmakers who went through the revolving door and found that they get, on average, 1,452% raises.

That’s why we sent a letter to the 36 retiring Members of Congress to publicly disclose any negotiations they’re having with lobbying firms or anyone else for a job after they leave Congress. If they’re selling out, we at least want to know — especially while they’re still in Congress and making laws that govern our lives.

Two Members of Congress told …

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March 23, 2012
Members of Congress who become lobbyists get huge paydays. A dozen lawmakers-turned-lobbyists we looked at got an average raise of 1,452%. So we sent a letter to the 35 retiring members of Congress asking them to disclose any job negotiations they’re having for their post-congressional careers — so at least the public would know what’s being offered to lawmakers who are still governing our lives. Earlier this week, Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) told us that it should be law for there to be disclosure. Then, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) refused to make such a commitment.  But we also spoke to Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) this week about our proposal. Miller said that he has no plans to become a lobbyist but if he does ever enter negotiations to become one, he will disclose them on his website:

VICTORY: Retiring Lawmaker Rep. Brad Miller Commits To Disclosing Any Job Negotiations With Lobbyists

Members of Congress who become lobbyists get huge paydays. A dozen lawmakers-turned-lobbyists we looked at got an average raise of 1,452%.

So we sent a letter to the 35 retiring members of Congress asking them to disclose any job negotiations they’re having for their post-congressional careers — so at least the public would know what’s being offered to lawmakers who are still governing our lives.

Earlier this week, Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) told us that it should be law for there to be disclosure. Then, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) refused to make such a commitment.  But we also spoke to …

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